AbbVie Appoints Robert Michael as New CEO, Replacing Richard Gonzalez

AbbVie, a prominent biotech and pharmaceutical company, has announced a significant leadership change. Robert Michael, the current president and chief operating officer, will assume the role of CEO on July 1, taking over from Richard Gonzalez. This transition marks a new era for AbbVie, as Michael becomes only the second CEO in the company’s history.

Gonzalez, who has led AbbVie since its spin-off from Abbott Laboratories in 2013, will retire and assume the position of executive chairman. Under his guidance, AbbVie has experienced remarkable growth and has established itself as one of the industry’s largest companies in a relatively short span of time.

However, this leadership transition comes at a critical juncture for AbbVie. The company is currently facing a significant challenge with the loss of exclusivity for its blockbuster autoimmune drug, Humira. With fresh biosimilar competition, AbbVie is relying on its newer immunology drugs, Skyrizi and Rinvoq, to offset the revenue decline from Humira. Executives at AbbVie anticipate that these two drugs will generate $16 billion in sales this year and soar to $27 billion by 2027.

Despite the challenges, Gonzalez expressed confidence in the company’s future success. He stated, “The board and I have been planning for a seamless CEO succession for some time. Now is the opportune time to hand the CEO role over to Rob. The business is performing very well and is in a strong position for the long term. Our pipeline contains multiple promising candidates to sustain our future strong growth.”

Robert Michael’s appointment as CEO comes after a remarkable career at AbbVie. With over a decade of experience in the company’s C-suite, Michael has played a crucial role in executing significant deals, including the acquisition of neuroscience drugmaker Cerevel Therapeutics and cancer drug developer ImmunoGen. Prior to joining AbbVie, he spent nearly 20 years at Abbott Laboratories, where he oversaw essential business divisions such as molecular diagnostics and nutrition supply chain.

This leadership transition signifies a new chapter for AbbVie, as the company navigates through industry challenges and continues to innovate in the biotech and pharmaceutical space. The future looks promising, with a strong leadership team and a robust pipeline of potential breakthrough treatments.